As of today, April 19, every U.S. adult is eligible to get a COVID vaccine. Please, get your COVID vaccine. Please. Do it now.
Coronavirus cases are going up in my hospital. They are going up in my county. They are going up in my state. They are going up all across the country. This is most likely due to the B.1.1.7 variant, the so-called “UK variant,” and it is wreaking havoc across the United States.
Please. Get. Your. Vaccine.
And you know what? The patients who are getting admitted to our hospital, and getting admitted to our ICU, and…
On April 8 and 9, our hospital held a memorial service to honor all of those who died from COVID-19. For each patient, we had a candle and a card with their name on it, handwritten by one of my colleagues. It was a wonderful we can honor those who we have lost. I wrote this poem as my contribution to this effort.
The Light comes down from On High
Descending calmly like a dove
With each breath and sigh
A sign of Undying Love
Affliction strikes from afar Oceans do not keep it out Disease is wide and far…
Every year, as a healthcare professional, I am mandated to get the influenza vaccine. In past years, if I did not get the flu vaccine or could not get it for whatever reason, then I was forced to wear a mask in the hospital throughout the flu season. That was before COVID was even a twinkle in a bat’s eye.
Fast forward to the 2020–2021 flu season, and there has been almost no flu activity. According to the CDC, there have been a total of 1,639 cases of flu since September 27, 2020. That’s it.
Compare that to the previous…
Yes, it seems like we are finally getting a handle on the pandemic. Even though there are some warning signs, there are also signs of hope: millions of people are being vaccinated each and every day. Cases, while indeed having plateaued, are much less than they were a few months ago. Hospitalizations and deaths are also down. There seems to be light at the end of this horribly long and horribly dark tunnel that is not a train.
That said, it is imperative that we prepare now for the next pandemic. There is no doubt that there will be another…
It has been one year since the World Health Organization declared that COVID-19 is a global pandemic. What a year it has been! So much has changed since then, and so much tragedy has occurred. Yet, out of this tragedy there has been good, and I pray and am hopeful that this good will far outshine the tragedy. And part of that good is how much I have learned and changed as a result of this global pandemic.
As an intensivist, or critical care medicine specialist, I typically care for very sick patients. Those with COVID-19, however, have been the…
As a lung specialist (Pulmonologist), I have seen the devastation wrought by lung cancer up close. It is a silent killer, and frequently, when I would diagnose lung cancer in one of my patients, it would be too late as the cancer had already spread to the point that cure is impossible.
In 2020, over 228,000 people were diagnosed with lung cancer. And even though lung cancer is not the most common cancer, it is by far the most deadly. Thus, if there was a way to find lung cancer earlier through screening, it could potentially save lives.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has finally issued interim guidance and recommendations for those who are fully vaccinated. For the purposes of its guidance, the CDC considers an individual “fully vaccinated” after 2 weeks from their second dose of Pfizer/Moderna or their J&J single-dose vaccine.
The CDC says fully vaccinated individuals can:
Hope is a dangerous thing
This virus keeps crushing it
Hope is a dangerous thing
Into the sewer it flushes it
Each time they come to us
Seeking care and relief
We work our hardest to heal them
In us they put trust and belief
We try and try and try
Lose sleep and have so much worry
And they seem to get better a little
And hope for cure seeps inside me
But then they die
Again, and again, and again
They die despite all we do
And I swear to never hope again
For when our hope gets…
A natural question asked with respect to vaccination is whether a vaccine is necessary if one has already recovered from COVID. If I already have natural immunity, do I really need a vaccine? Two studies, published in the Lancet on February 25, answer in the unequivocal affirmative.
The first study examined healthcare workers in the UK who received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and compared the antibody response of those who were previously infected or uninfected with SARS CoV-2. The healthcare workers who were previously infected with SARS CoV-2 had antibody responses that were way higher than that of natural immunity. …
The news has been great as of late: Covid cases have continued to fall, vaccines are ramping up, and in a very encouraging study out of Israel, the real world experience with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is as good as the controlled trial.
At the same time, there are warning signs, and while I don’t want to rain on people’s parades, it is so very important that we keep up our vigilance. What has gotten me so concerned? Cases in the U.S. have stopped falling.